When folks head out to the Beehive State in search of spectacular scenery, Utah’s Big Five — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches and Capitol Reef National Parks — usually top the must-see list. And although these are worthy sights for sure, in the haste to bag them all many visitors totally miss out on some of the smaller but equally enthralling natural attractions. Places like Kodachrome Basin State Park (www.stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome-basin), for example.
Situated on the Colorado Plateau, this park offers a colorful collection of red rock sandstone chimneys and monolithic spires that tower up to 170 feet over the surrounding desert. And although the landscape looks foreboding at first glance, upon closer examination there’s also an accessible trail, a scenic drive and even an accessible campsite for an overnight stay.
The Kodachrome Nature Trail is located near the Oasis Group Camp, near the end of the park road. Accessible parking is located next to the accessible restrooms, with level access over to the trailhead. The half-mile loop trail begins as a wide paved path, that slowly gives way to a hard-packed dirt trail covered in stabilized granite. Interpretive panels dot the tail, and there are even a few shaded benches to stop and take a break.
Prickly pear cactus grows alongside the trail, which is literally surrounded by the red rock canyon. Pinyon pines and narrow leaf yucca can be seen in the distance with the almost phallic rock formations rising beside them. Although geologists are unsure of the origin of the sedimentary pipes, theories range from seismic activity and erosion to ancient water pockets that were buried beneath the surface. Either way they are captivating. And for an equally enticing view, take the short drive to the end of the park road, for a panoramic canyon view.
Set up Camp
If you’d like to overnight in the park, then look no further than the Basin Campground, which is located near the end of the park road. Campsite 18 is wheelchair-accessible and it features parking on a paved area with level access to the site. The campsite includes a raised tent platform, an accessible picnic table and a grill. The tent platform is nicely done as it has loops to secure a tent, and you just can’t beat the view from this campsite.
There’s also accessible parking in front of the adjacent bathhouse, which features barrier-free access. Access features include an accessible stall and roll-under sinks, plus a roll-in shower with grab bars and a hand-held showerhead. There’s a small changing bench in the far corner, however the shower lacks a bench. A dishwashing station is located next to the bathhouse, and there’s also a water pump at the accessible campsite.
Reservations for the accessible campsite can be made by calling (800) 322-3770; and although details about it are available on www.reserveamerica.com, on-line booking is not available. It’s a pleasant campground and the perfect place to overnight in the canyon.
And if you’d like to try a longer accessible trail, then head over to Bryce Canyon National Park and check out the ultra accessible Bryce Canyon Shared Use Path emerginghorizons.com/new-bryce-multi-use-trail-top-offers-top-rate-access.